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AG to pull out from tax refund suit

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Law firm to substitute as counsel

THE Attorney General’s Office plans to withdraw from representing the government of Guam in the tax refund class action suit it has lost.

In court documents filed yesterday in the District Court of Guam, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Orcutt asked the court for an order to allow the substitution of attorneys Eduardo Calvo, Kathleen Fisher, and Rodney Jacob in place of the AGO.

“The Guam Attorney General and the defendants have agreed that, with the court’s permission, attorneys from the law firm of Calvo, Fisher & Jacob should be substituted in as attorneys for defendants and the Guam Attorney General and I should be allowed to withdraw,” wrote Orcutt, who handled the case.

“This firm is willing to represent defendants at both the district court and Ninth Circuit levels,” he added.

Orcutt noted a contract allowing the firm to represent the government is being finalized and should be signed in the next few days.

He also informed the plaintiff’s legal counsel of the substitution via email yesterday.

“They have not indicated whether they oppose this motion,” Orcutt said.

Pending matters

Although District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall issued a permanent injunction and final judgment – which forces the government of Guam to pay out tax refunds within six months of its filing claim date – there is still the issue over the awarding of attorney’s fees to the legal team who represented taxpayers in the case.

The law offices of Lujan, Aguigui & Perez LLP and California firm Girard Gibbs LLP are seeking nearly $2.2 million in attorney fees and costs. However, the government argued the amount is “grossly excessive.”

In addition to the government’s refusal to pay the full amount, they are also seeking to overturn Consuelo’s signing of the permanent injunction.

The AGO also filed its appeal of the permanent injunction and judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last month.

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